Schools: Cadet Expansion Programme - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:12 pm on 18th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Labour 6:12 pm, 18th June 2019

My Lords, I am sorry to intervene and break up the harmony that had lasted until the Minister’s speech. He said a moment ago, rather to my concern, that his department is setting an upper limit to the number of state schools that will be able to have Combined Cadet Forces, and that the capacity of the Armed Forces to manage more than 500 units was not there. Is he aware that that will be greeted with widespread disappointment in the state-school world? Effectively, he is saying that private schools, most of which have CCFs, will maintain them and a relatively small number of state schools will get them—that is, the 300 or so that will get them as a result of the expansion programme—but the 3,000 state schools that do not have Combined Cadet Forces will have to make do with Community Cadet Forces because the MoD says it is not capable of taking on more responsibilities. Could he indicate to the House an open mind about keeping this issue under review? I can tell him that his remarks will be greeted with very serious disappointment in the state-school world.